Your life and eyes 3 min read

World Sight Day 2020

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Today is World Sight Day, one of the most important days in the eye health calendar. Did you know that over a billion people can’t see very well because they don’t have access to glasses? Over 3 out of 4 of the world’s vision impaired can be avoided.

Blindness and vision impairment is a global issue. The IAPB states there are millions of people living with eye conditions that increase the risk of sight loss, including diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, high myopia and age-related macular degeneration.

World Sight Day is an opportunity to raise awareness of blindness and vision problems as an international public health issue. This year’s theme is Hope In Sight, highlighting the importance of good sight for everyone around the world.

Understanding the world’s vision

According to WHO, global demand for eye care is set to surge in the coming years due to factors like an ageing population and changes in lifestyle. It is predicted that a third more people will be aged over 60 by 2030. Increasingly sedentary lifestyles and less time spent outdoors can also cause the number of people with eye conditions to increase.

Eye conditions are incredibly common. By simply attending an eye examination every two years, you can increase your chance of detecting changes in your eye health quicker.

Woman having an eye examination

Risk factors for eye conditions

Ageing, genetics, lifestyle and behaviours can all be a risk factor for developing eye conditions. In particular, age is the primary factor. Conditions like presbyopia, cataracts, glaucoma and AMD all increase sharply with age.

Likewise, smoking and poor nutrition are linked to a more significant risk of developing eye conditions.

Access to quality eye care is of enormous importance to treat and manage eye conditions. This is something that has felt even more difficult thanks to COVID-19 putting healthcare industries under huge strain around the world.

Looking after your eyes

World Sight Day is here to remind you that you can take simple but essential steps to decrease your chances of experiencing vision loss. Attend your eye examinations; if you can’t remember when your last one was, get in touch with your optician to book an appointment. Your optician may be able to detect early signs of disease and eye conditions, making it much easier to treat the condition or manage the symptoms.

Follow a healthy balanced diet. With the right vitamins and minerals, including lutein and vitamins A, C and E, you can promote healthy vision and reduce your chances of developing vision problems.

Foods rich in vitamins for good eye health

Smoking can contribute to cataracts, while excessive consumption of alcohol can also affect your eye health in the long run. It’s essential to make healthy lifestyle choices where you can.

You should also protect your eyes from the sun, as harmful UV light can lead to vision problems such as macular degeneration and photokeratitis. Staying out of the sun at its peak and wearing sunglasses can be an easy way to shield your vision from UV light.

So, this World Sight Day, think about your eyesight and the things you could do to avoid vision impairment.

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